I’m a Head Banger
Efficiency is doing better what is already being done. ~ Peter F Drucker
Living in a country that is not your own really puts the magnifying glass on one’s character. You get to discover if you’re a Type A or B personality? I’m on the obsessive A side. What brings you joy? Nature and food. Are you an understanding or compassionate person? Yes, I am. What annoys you? The list is long. And what would truly push you over the edge? Not much. There are times when I think I should go over to a wall and bang my head, but of course, in the end, the only person I’d be hurting would be myself. What is this magnifying glass showing? It’s glaringly obvious that I’m impatient. It’s my Achilles heel. I really appreciate and need efficiency. I crave it like chocolate. Maybe I was Swedish or Japanese in another life.
People here complain about inefficiency all the time. It’s a topic of conversation, much like the weather is for Canadians.
We really got dumped on last night, didn’t we?
Yea, another 30 cm of the white stuff’s coming.
God, when will winter end?
I don’t know; yesterday was the first day of spring.
Sound familiar? You can always insert rain for snow if you’re living in Vancouver.
In Caracas the conversation goes something like this:
Aarrgghhh, an audible sigh, immediate look of despair, eye rolling commences. Turn to the guy that just came up behind you. The line up for the bank/check out/pharmacy counter is horrendous.
It’s always like this. It doesn’t matter what time of the day you come.
Yea, I know. Hey, hold my place in line. I’m going to see if the other line is moving faster.
Sure. If your line is moving faster, I’ll come over.
20 minutes later……… you’ve moved up 3 spots, but look on the bright side, you just made a new friend.
So yesterday Juan had to go to deposit 2 checks at one bank. We take our place in line and within seconds, 15 people were standing behind us. There is one teller open and every 30 seconds someone is going up to the teller to ask for a deposit slip while a client is trying to do their banking. Yes, you read that right. It’s 2013 and they’re still using deposit slips. Here is one of the problems, the bank won’t leave any on the counter because people take them. Really?! Well of course they take them!!!! They don’t want to waste their time. Your banking takes twice as long because of the constant interruptions and of course after you picked up your slip, you have to go to the back of the line to fill the damn thing out. Head banging commences.
We waited our 25 minutes, I go ahead of Juan to ask for deposit slips (you know for next time). I leave so the guy doesn’t see through our thinly disguised plan. A couple minutes later I see Juan standing in line for the bank machine. He tells me the teller will only deposit one check and not the other because it was under a certain amount. WTH? My second bout of head banging is in full swing. Our turn comes up and the machine is temporarily out of service!! Of course it is. Now I know you’re asking, why didn’t he just use the machine in the first place? People don’t trust them. If a check goes missing, the bank has a “it’s not our responsibility” attitude. It’s risky.
There was another branch on the other side of the mall so we decided to walk over. Guess what? That side of the mall was closed and wouldn’t be open for another hour and a half. This head banging session is coming to a close and the head shaking in disbelief starts.
Of course, I always having a running commentary with Juan about using bank cards instead of deposit slips, streamlining procedures at the teller, efficiency, etc. And although he concurs, I think he’s tired of me pointing out the glaringly obvious.
Here’s a perfect example of inefficiency, if you deposit a check you have to have your photo taken and you need to give your thumb print. The teller to camera ratio is about 2 to 1, and it’s required for ALL checks. So if you deposit 10 checks, that means 10 photos and 10 thumb prints are taken. All of that takes time. Can you feel the pain? Oh and talk about Big Brother! But that’s a whole other post.
Anyway, that was the first of three banks we had to go to yesterday; they went just as smoothly.